Dear Someone Else’s Dad,
How do I get out of participating in our upcoming holiday party’s “mandatory” wine-tasting competition? I don’t drink alcohol, and I actually think this activity is insensitive to those of us who have religious, personal, or health reasons for not imbibing.
Great question. I hate when any “fun” activity is deemed mandatory. What you think is fun (reading everyone’s embarrassing childhood stories aloud, burping contests, pistol dueling) can become outright disasters. Here are a couple of suggestions:
You could ask the party organizers to include another type of tasting for those who don’t drink. I’ve actually enjoyed root beer, ginger ale, and lemonade tasting parties where the comments on the different brands can get pretty creative and funny. And if the organizers won’t budge (and you can tell HR about their insensitivity), just buy some cans of soda yourself and set up a table.
You can play along with the wine tasting without sipping and then just make inane comments taken from the most effete and obnoxious wine reviews.
Whatever you choose to do be safe and have a good time.
Someone Else’s Dad